Hating The Rich
The solidly respectable Roger Abramson had a post at the end of last week wherein he claims that most people don't hate the rich, but instead admire their accomplishments.
I cannot speak for most people. I can only truly speak for me. And while I am not hating the rich per se, I'm finding myself to have less and less use for their shenanigans. Like this for instance. Homes priced in excess of $100 million. Homes with 24 Karat gold-plated fixtures in the loo. Why is this necessary?
My relationship with The Rich has had its ups and downs. I started out like Roger, admiring their accomplishments and pondering what it would take for me to join their ranks. Then I went to work for a rich man. I found out that one of the ways some people get and stay rich is by not paying enough money to their employees. I also found out that another way some people get and stay rich is by lying and cheating and stealing. I'm sure there are many wealthy people who have risen from the dirt of poverty to the ranks of the monied without chiselling, bootlegging or throwing people out of their homes to build ridiculously expensive office high-rises. I was going to say "Steve Jobs and Bill Gates", but then I remembered the nice folks at PARC Xerox who saw their work on GUI spirited away by the two eager beavers. See? Stealing. That's another way to get rich.
I think there's a reason Jesus said it's easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. It seems that Jesus--you know, Mr. if-you-have-two-coats-give-one-to-someone-in-need--realised that great wealth often comes from great misdeeds. Of course, my sins are just as numerous so admittedly I should quit worrying about their splinters and concentrate on my own huge and gaping flaws. And I will.
But I still find myself wondering why on earth a $100 million home is necessary. Yes, a man's reach should exceed his grasp. And that's part of what worries me. Because if someone's grasp includes such a house it would seem that his reach could be dangerously destructive.